Camera

The camera hardware, too, doesn’t change with the iPad mini 3. Despite that, it’s still able to snap some excellent looking shots.

Hardly a shocker, especially at this point, the iPad mini 3 sports the same 5-megapixel iSight camera as its predecessor. Meaning, it features the same five-element lens, f/2.4 aperture, BSI, and 1080p video recording. Again, it simply goes to show how closely related it is to the iPad mini 2. With the arrival of iOS 8, though, the camera app receives upgrades that provide us with manual exposure adjustment and a timer function. Aside from that, the camera app remains identical to what we’ve seen before.

Can we blame Apple for not upgrading the camera hardware in this, especially knowing that it snaps some good looking photos? When it comes down to it, the iPad mini 3’s camera continues to impress, which is surprising considering that we’re talking about a tablet here. Honestly, the results are quite similar to last year’s model, as well as the original – meaning it produces sharp details, natural colors, and proper exposure. Taking it indoors where lighting is sparse, the details are softer and colors appear a bit more washed out.


Taking a pic Lower is better Taking an HDR pic (sec) Lower is better CamSpeed score Higher is better CamSpeed score with flash Higher is better
Apple iPad mini 3 3.1
3.3
No data
No data
Apple iPad mini 2 3.2
3.5
674
No data
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 3.2
3.8
393
196

Likewise, its 1080p video recording is pretty good too! Although, we’re just baffled as to why continuous auto-focus continues to be non-existent – leaving us to rely on touch focus instead. Additionally, it doesn’t get greeted to the same slow motion capture like its siblings.



Multimedia

The iPad mini 3 serves its purposes in being an intimate, multimedia-consumptive device.

The music player of the iPad mini 3 is your standard fanfare, the same recycled one from before. For what it’s worth, the interface is organized looking and doesn’t try to throw a ton of features or visual treats at us – so it comes off a bit generic in comparison to the dazzling allure of some other music players.
The iPad mini 3 generates a powerful 76.6 dB of audio output, which is accompanied with a very neutral sound quality – though, it’s a little bit light on the bass. Nonetheless, for what it’s worth, it’s effective to resonate in small spaces.

Sure, it’s not as ideal as the iPad Air 2 for the occasion, but the iPad mini 3 is a reasonable enough thing for watching videos. Not only do they play smoothly, but the compact size of the tablet allows us to comfortably watch something in peace while lying in bed, or at a coffee shop, without being too distracting.

Headphones output power (Volts) Higher is better
Apple iPad mini 3 0.87
Apple iPad mini 2 0.97
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 0.6
Loudspeaker loudness (dB) Higher is better
Apple iPad mini 3 76.6
Apple iPad mini 2 74
Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4 74.3


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